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East Midlands Chamber News

Survey results could shape national energy strategy

In a bid to drive clean-air initiatives, the Government announced in July that the sale of new diesel and petrol cars will be banned in the UK from 2040.

It also set aside £255m to help local authorities develop policies to improve air quality in towns and cities, which could include the banning during peak hours of diesel-powered cars and vans from some centres within the next two years and the introduction of punitive daytime ‘toxin taxes’ to discourage their use.

A similarly-timed but apparently contradictory announcement, however, stopped electrification of the Midland Main Line and promised new diesel-powered trains for routes through Derby, Nottingham and Leicester for the foreseeable future. Derby and Nottingham are thought to be leading the ‘toxin tax’ charge.

The Chamber reacted to the announcement by calling on Government to create a proper, fully-costed, cohesive 50-year energy strategy to ensure the UK remains at the forefront of green technology.

And it is now asking businesses in the East Midlands to take part in research which, through lobbying activities, could help shape a national energy strategy.

Chris HobsonChris Hobson, the Chamber’s Director of Policy, said: “Energy costs, security and availability perennially rank among the top concerns of our members. We have been saying for some time that the UK needs a proper, costed, 50-year energy strategy and now we are inviting regional firms to take part in our Quarterly Economic Survey so that we can collate information to help drive this initiative.

“The East Midlands has the potential to lead the world in the field of the new technologies that will be needed to deliver the Government’s clean air pledges. The Government has to make sure the businesses that will drive the technology get all the support they need.”

The Chamber’s Quarterly Economic Survey for quarter three of 2017 is currently live and is asking firms across the region how much of their turnover is currently generated by supplying low carbon goods or services and to what extent firms have invested this year to reduce their carbon footprint.

The results will feed into future work carried out by the Chamber to encourage Government to invest in a 50-year energy strategy.

To take part in the survey, visit http://bit.ly/2fYTN9c.

Chamber strategic partner bmi regional is offering two return flights from Birmingham to Nuremburg as a draw prize for completing the Q3 QES. The winners will be advised on 14 September and the tickets will be valid until 31 March.

Earlier this year, bmi regional created a new hub at Birmingham Airport, launching three new European routes from the UK’s second city to Graz, Gothenburg and Nuremberg, to provide improved connectivity to and from the East Midlands.

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